Send to

Choose Destination
Agri. 2020 Jan;32(1):31-37. doi: 10.14744/agri.2019.15921.

Distal approach for percutaneous radiofrequency thermocoagulation of lumbar medial branches in patients with lumbar facet arthropathy: A retrospective analysis.

Author information

Department of Algologia, Dr. Ersin Arslan Training and Research Hospital, Gaziantep, Turkey.
Department of Anesthesia, Şehitkamil State Hospital, Gaziantep, Turkey.



Lumbar facet (zygapophysial) arthropathy is a common cause of chronic lower back pain, and percutaneous radiofrequency denervation of the facet joints appears to be an effective treatment that yields long-term improvement. A technique utilising a distal approach to place the needle parallel to the medial branch has recently come into common use. In the present study, a technique incorporating a distal approach and an A-P fluoroscopic view was investigated.


In this study, clinical charts of 164 patients with lumbar facet syndrome who had undergone RFTC (radiofrequency thermocoagulation) of facet-joint medial branches were retrospectively evaluated. The success rate of percutaneous radiofrequency thermocoagulation of facet-joint medial branches performed utilising a distal approach with an A-P view was evaluated. NRS (numeric rank score) pain scores and subjective patient-reported global responses were measured.


Of the patients, responses were rated as excellent by 46 (28.0%), good by 67 (40.8%), fair by 21 (12.8%) and poor by 30 (18.2%). The median duration of pain relief was 7.3 months. In the 113 patients who reported excellent or good responses, the median duration of pain relief was 10.2 months.


Radiofrequency thermocoagulation for facet arthropathy is a safe and effective treatment option that is well-tolerated. We suggest that a distal approach with an A-P view for facet radiofrequency thermocoagulation is a viable alternative to other approaches.

Free full text

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for LookUs Bilisim
Loading ...
Support Center